Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion (1976)

If you survive this night... Nothing will scare you again.
Posted on by

Alice, Sweet Alice - If You Survive This Night... Nothing Will Scare You Again.

Alice, Sweet Alice is a nice little chunk of psychological grey-matter shafting slasherism from 1976 America, although it was originally released as Communion it was re-released as Alice, Sweet Alice in 1978 and then again as Holy Terror in 1981. One of the main reasons that this movie has the ability to fuck with the head is due to the convincing portrayal of Alice Spages the sweet yet twistedly malfunctioning child who is the focus of the mayhem. Astonishingly the rationale behind her outstanding performance is not due to a mild case of child-prodigism but due to the fact that, being born in 1957, Paula Sheppard was actually about 19 when she played the role and was instead suffering from a "lack of overcoming vertical challenges" and an incurable case of evil cuteness. The movie also contains a strong religious theme which is always good for freaking out viewers in this currently religiously unsure society and probably more so back in the seventies.

There is not a profusion of blood and no cornucopia of shallow characters meeting their demise in whacky ways, Alice, Sweet Alice relies on the old school slasher methodology of allowing the viewer to invest some time and affection in the characters before reuniting them with the dirt. This alone makes the movie stand out from the cookie-cut slashers churned out by the slasher factories in the last decade. Love, skill and attention have gone into making this movie psychologically horrifying which makes this more of an excursion through terror rather than just throw away entertainment and harks back to the days when slasher movies were art rather than cash cows.

Alice, Sweet Alice still employs a number of tried and tested slasher concepts such as the antagonist disguise, which in this instance is a chilling almost translucent face mask and a yellow raincoat, plus the revelation of the killer and their motives and a shocking ending with an indication that this may not really be the end. Without these though this movie wouldn't be filed under slasher and most fans of this genre expect these accepted wisdoms to satisfy the fix needed by the un-rehabilitated slasherholic. There are also a number of sensitive subjects such as child molestation, defective murderous children, dead children and the obvious Catholic undertone, all of which are handled sensitively but still add to the menace of the cinematic experience.

Alice and her younger sister Karen (one of the first yet fleeting roles for a young Brooke Shields) live with their mother in a community with quite a strong connection with church, God and other concepts created by the government to control society [citation needed]. Alice is quite a troubled child and is having issues at school while her younger sister is the unprocessed cider ingredients of the family's visual organs, obviously there is sisterly hate between the two and this escalates when Karen is preparing for communion and receives more attention and gifts. Alice's troublesome nature inspires her to don a mask and scare the scat out of the house guests, which doesn't put her in good stead for the events about to occur!

At communion Karen is found dead in a bench compartment having lost an argument with a translucent mask wearing, yellow raincoat sporting, candlestick wielding maniac. The fingers of accusation soon point towards Alice who unwittingly decided to take Karen's place in communion in her sister's absence. Luckily the fingers of evidence eventually point away from Alice, but the killings keep happening and the quirky evil connotations of Alice's personality soon begin a war between the various pointy fingers that the local community wield.

There are a number of horrible people in Alice's world, most noticeably her wicked Auntie and Mr. Fatty-Piss-Pants who lives downstairs in squalor with his collection of kitties, unfortunately this fat slob is also the landlord and quite into young girls. Alice soon pisses on his fire by violently strangling his cute pussy rather than just spurning his perverted advances. Soon after he meets his demise at the hands of the masked killer and once again things look bad for Alice.

The movie raises many questions about the identity and motivations of the killer as the story progresses, then reveals them towards the end... and then raises all the doubts again after that... typical slasher style. Alice, Sweet Alice manages to draw a very dark and impoverished picture of society and entangles this with some well deserved deaths which are executed with demented motivations. It is obvious that care and attention has gone into all aspects of this movie from camera shots, a menacing yet also sometimes ironically comical sound track (the horror movie in the background of one the landlords more evil moments is pure genius) and the casting. This movie manages to be a quality horror without the need for over-the-top gore and deserves to be noticed by the fans of the genre and forcibly sporked into the eyes of the generation of modern slasher fans.
This review was posted on by
Categories: Slasher Movies
Watch "Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion" now Watch Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion Now on Amazon Instant Video

Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion: Movie Information

Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion: Related Images

Alice, Sweet Alice AKA Communion: External Links